By Aileen Duncan, a Ottawa-based beer blogger with The Beverage
Beer: Clocktower-Whalesbone Oyster Stout
STATS: ABV 5% | IBU 27
For this beverage enthusiast, MEGAPHONO served up some excellent beer as well as a taste of the Ottawa music scene. While at the Dom I noticed they had Clocktower’s Oyster Stout on tap. I was intrigued, and decided to give it a try.
The collaboration between Whalesbone restaurant and Clocktower caught my eye from the start. Served quite cold and poured perfectly, the nitrogen cascaded up the inside of the glass. The head was a soft white, the beer a dark brown (but appearing black in the dimly lit room). It smelled vaguely of the ocean – just kidding, it was more like malt and muted coffee.
The mouth feel is quite reminiscent of Guinness, creamy and smooth. There was an almost metallic tang, but no dominant flavours. Surprising refreshing, the brew set itself apart from most stouts by staying away from strong cocoa or coffee notes. As the beer warmed, it sweetened. The hops made themselves more present, but it remained a light, enjoyable beer.
Why an Oyster stout?
According to the Clocktower’s website, it used to be common practice to use oyster shells to clarify beers. This makes sense, considering how smooth the finished product was. Stepping back to use methods from before the industrial revolution seems appropriate for Whalesbone oysters, which are sourced according to Ocean Wise guidelines.
“Our Clocktower Oyster Stout is an homage to the original beers clarified with these oyster shells. It is a dark brown, almost black beer in colour with a creamy tan head. The aroma is that of roast coffee, chocolate and just a hint of salt. The nitrogen added; rather than carbon dioxide, gives the stout a smooth creamy body, making it very easy to drink. The end flavour is slightly salty with a hint of roast. Once the beer warms up a slight caramel sweetness becomes noticeable. Our Oyster Stout stays true to the tradition of the stout, while remaining extremely drinkable and not too filling.”
Both The Beverage Blog and Ottawa Showbox care about our oceans, and to demonstrate the love we’ve put together a playlist for you to contemplate responsible seafood choices and/or the demise of marine diversity. #feministkilljoy?
Hollerado – “Walking on the Sea”
‘Cause Jesus did it. #OTTband
The Sheepdogs – “Catfish 2 Boogaloo”
For those rolling beats and vocals.
Against Me! – “New Wave”
For the strength in her voice. “We can be the bands we want to hear. We can define a generation”
Rancid – “L.A. River”
Because all rivers lead to the ocean, eventually.
Sublime – “Badfish”
This one reminds me of summer and heat, from where the ocean is only a memory away.
Morecheeba – “The Sea”
For the peace this song brings. The ocean has many faces.
Blue Oyster Cult – “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”
From the peaceful side to the deadly side. Yes, this is a real song. No, SNL did not invent this song so that Will Ferrell could play the cow bell. Now back to business, this might a little cliché, but how many bands do you know with oyster in their name?
Incredible String Band – “The Water Song”
Actual water can be heard sloshing about throughout this medieval-sounding hymn.
A lovely song about those slaving away to catch the fish and maybe even oysters. But the blues is certainly what you feel when you realize you are all done this delicious beer.
Cat Power – “Sea of Love”
We love beer, the sea, and love so this lovely simplistic lullaby-like song fits right in to send this playlist to bed.
One Night Band – “Le monde a nos pieds” (sadly not on Youtube)
The world, my oyster, is at our feet. This gem is a 2006 release from a Montreal ska band. I believe they’ve disbanded, but for a while they frequented our beautiful city. So cool it’s not on YouTube.
You can follow Aileen on Twitter @namas_day and on Instagram @aileen.and.the.world